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How does one clean a soiled tallit?

How does one clean a soiled tallit?



How does one clean a soiled tallit? It is made of wool and is quite old, and has never been cleaned.


A wool tallit needs to be hand-washed with a delicate soap, like Woolite, which is especially designed for delicate, wool garments. Soak it for several hours or overnight and then hand wash. If necessary, repeat more than once.

A tallit can also be dry cleaned. However, it might not be advisable to give a tallit to your local dry leaning establishment—as the ones not familiar with tallitot (i.e. most cleaners that are not situated in areas with orthodox Jewish populations) don't always know how to handle them and can cause damage.

Chana Weisberg is the editor of She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of five popular books.
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Discussion (26)
October 6, 2016
To Anonymous
I would contact a Judaica store or Sofer (scribe) near you. Staff
October 2, 2016
The fingers on one corner of my tallit fell off. Where can I get it repaired.
Tarzana-Los Angeles
September 19, 2016
How do you clean a Tallit
Rosalie Brooks
June 13, 2014
Washing Tallit
I washed my husband's tallit in the washing machine on delicate cycle with a little Woolite and it came out perfectly. Hang to dry. I would not recommend this for an old tallit, hand washing would be preferable.
April 7, 2014
Stretched Wool Tzitzit
How dose one deal with Stretched out wool tzitzis ????
Llandon Ross
July 19, 2013
Dry cleaning tallit? NO!!!!
Our nephew asked if we could provide one of his grandfather's (OBM) tallism to use as the chuppah later this summer. Mom (OBM) had made Dad a lightweight tallit that he could wear, comfortably while davening, during the heat of the summer, from a beautiful brocaded fabric and had added the tzitzit to the corners, but it looked incomplete. So, I ordered a atarah and planned after having it affixed to have it cleaned and pressed and boxed as one of our gifts to the bridal couple.

I realized that had I taken it to a commercial cleaner that I risked making it impure, which would have disappointed Dad. So, I very much appreciate the comments on this thread that explained what is acceptable and what must be avoided. Thank you, all. You helped me honor both of their memories.
M. J. Simon
June 10, 2013
Coffee stain on tallit
Someone spilled coffee on my husband's tallit. How can I clean it! It is yellowed as well.
March 19, 2013
response to March 19 review
Dear "Anonymous",
Sorry to hear that your husband received a dirty tallit. In researching how to deal with the yellow stain, all I found was what NOT to use. Since wool is a protein, do not use any product such as Shout or Spray n Wash . Their websites state it is not for wool or silk, as these products are made to breakdown proteins. My suggestion my be to add a small portion of woolite to the stain directly as per their instructions.
If you've tried this, maybe dry cleaning is your only option. Hope you are successful in the cleaning of this tallit.
March 19, 2013
My husband got a very old and dirty tallit as a present. I've soaked it in with wanish for 4 hours than in wolite for another 5 hours than i hand washed. It become whiteish again and most of the dirt went away nicely except the big yellow one at the neck part. Any idea What to do with it? About the knots - you shouldn't cut them for sure just take a small fork or a thin brush which is used f.e. for brushing out the persian carpet's fringes and carefully brush out the fringes on your talit then knot them again. It will take a few hours but there is a good chance that they will turn out nicely again.
October 27, 2012
Cleaning my Tallit
I live in the Chicago area. Does anyone know a cleaner I can use? After 40 years, it's time I had my Tallit cleaned.
Chicago, IL
This is no fringe mitzvah! The tallit and tzitzit serves as constant reminders of our obligations to G-d and our fellows.
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